Blog | What's being a trustee of The Scout Association all about?
Chair of the Board of Trustees, Ann Limb CBE talks about her experience in Scouting and on the Board of Trustees, what she gets out of it and why you should get involved too.
When I was young, I was a Brownie and a Guide. I couldn’t join Scouts back then - but that all changed 25 years ago. It was a life changing experience for me and when I had the opportunity to become chair of the Scouts, I wanted to use some of the skills that I learnt and the confidence that I gained from being part of Girlguiding as a young person, and give back to a movement that ensures young people today have 'skills for life'.
Expertise and experience I gained as an adult in my professional life have been invaluable during this journey. When I was working full time, I was a Chief Executive as well as Principal of two Further Education colleges, so I learnt skills in leadership and governance - which are obviously very important when you become the Chair of The Scout Association! I also acquired financial and human resources skills and knowledge of the legal world, risk and regulation and above all organisational transformation and change management experience. For me, being a trustee is an opportunity to use these skills for the benefit of The Scout Association.
There are lots of you in the workforce and amongst our Scouting volunteers today, who possess these skills - and many more - and we need you on the UK Board. It would be really good to encourage some of what we might call the more ‘unusual suspects’ – people who have not put themselves forward before for election and yet who have something different to offer. A lot of people are involved in Scouting locally or regionally, and that’s great. Trusteeship of The Scout Association however, is something I would really recommend to those of you who want to widen and broaden your experience of volunteering and take part in the overall governance of the Movement. You would have the opportunity to get involved in finance, in strategy, in human resources and in some of the most significant risk and change management activities that are required in providing strong governance to a major UK charity. It’s a great opportunity to get beyond immediate operational activity and become engaged more widely in the Movement.
As a trustee, some of the time you give is spent around the boardroom table: this means reading papers, undertaking training, contributing to discussions, challenging and scrutinising what the executive are doing, and what the Movement’s doing. That’s a very important part of the role. Trusteeship, however, is also about supporting the Movement and communicating key strategic messages to a wide range of audiences and we need a diverse range of voices and experiences to do this effectively. Just the other weekend, I was at the Queen’s Scouts and DofE awards ceremony in Buckinghamshire where I live and last night I went to speak at a new growing Group - 12th Aylesbury (1st Buckingham Park) first ever AGM. As a trustee, there are lots of things you can do as an ambassador for our Movement - locally, regionally, and nationally.
So not only is trusteeship of the UK Board an opportunity to use your life and business skills - and acquire some more - it's also a chance to learn more about governance, to meet and learn from a range of different people, to act as an ambassador and to use your skills to make a real difference to the Scout Movement. So please think about putting yourself forward for election and if you want to have an informal chat with me – do get in touch.
You can find more about applying to be on the Board of Trustees here.